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Tioga County to see series of 30-minute plays, performances

Hamilton-Gibson Productions is presenting a different 30-minute play or group of short plays running about 30 minutes each on Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. for eight consecutive weekends beginning Feb. 20 and ending on April 11. According to a news release, the series is free.

The first staged reading will be at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 20, and 2:30 p.m., Feb. 21. It is a new work by playwright Rich Orloff. In a departure from his usual zany humor, Orloff has composed a poetry cycle in five movements called “Blessings from the Pandemic.”

“‘Blessings’ is about our journey in dealing with the events of 2020: ‘the big, the small, the humorous, the challenging and even the inspiring,’ “ said Thomas Putnam, series director, according to the news release.

“Orloff’s full work has 60 one-minute poems, but he encourages theatre groups like ours to select those that speak most meaningfully to their own community,” Putnam said. “Our eight actors will each read three of Orloff’s poems and then the whole cast will read two of his poems together.”

As soon as the 30-minute performance ends, the audience will be invited to stay on Zoom to talk with the “Blessings” cast and Putnam about what they saw and heard.The cast includes: Josh Allen, Brett Maynard, Taylor Nickerson, Kathryn Sheneman, Jane Shumway, Claudia Waber, Phil Waber and Tim Wilbourne.

“I am happy to announce the beginning of this new project,” said Putnam, who is also Hamilton-Gibson Productions artistic director. “Our community performing arts group is offering this series free in hopes of connecting with people in a meaningful way during the pandemic,” he said.

“Our theme this year is ‘Together in ’21.’ It is our motivating mantra. We are waiting for the time we can come together in one room to join with others in experiencing live theatre, as well as live concerts by our HG Children and Youth Choirs. We are looking forward to rehearsals and exploring scripts and songs and to telling and hearing stories. In so doing, we are taking steps toward unity, harmony and community,” said Putnam, according to the news release. “We are hoping our series of performances on Zoom and the talk backs that follow will help meet people’s need to be together,” he said.

Audience members can find the Zoom entry information on the HG website at https://www.hamiltongibson.org and Facebook page or by calling the HG office at 570-724-2079.

For those familiar with Zoom, go to the website at https://zoom.us, click on “joint meeting” and enter 880 0548 0914 — the access code for the Feb. 20 performance and then enter the passcode 154763. For the Feb. 21 performance, enter the access code 810 1383 3773 and then the passcode 115658. Please note, the entry information is different for each performance.

There is no charge for this series. Donations are appreciated. Help HG by going to the website (www.hamiltongibson.org) and donating there, or sending a contribution to HG, 29 Water St., Wellsboro, PA 16901. Please include “Staged Readings” in the check memo line.

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